John Vonderlin: 1908 Activity at Montara

Story by John Vonderlin

Email John: [email protected]


Hi June,
This excerpt from an article about real estate happenings was from the May 23rd, 1908, issue of the San Francisco “Call.”
“Much activity in building is shown at Montara, the first station beyond Pedro point on the Ocean Shore railroad. Twelve substantial houses are now being built and occupied on the Montara tract, and the foundations are laid for a college of arts and crafts, consisting of three buildings. A three story modern hotel will be under construction within a fortnight and four new cottages are now under way. The Montara company has graded more than five miles of streets and laid at its own expense more than a mile of modern cement sidewalks. The water system and reservoir of 80,000 gallons capacity is completed and in working order. This tract is the largest tract now opened which can be reached by the Ocean Shore railroad. The Ocean Shore company is running six trains a day and eight trains every Sunday to this tract.”


There was also this ad in the same issue:
Now Run to Montara
Come to MONTARA and see the City we’re building— Store, beautiful Hotel, Town Hall and seven Cottages now being built. One thousand lots have been sold in MONTARA
You can buy a large residence lot in Montara today at from $250 to $375 with improvements, on monthly payments.  Even cement sidewalks are free. Every man should own his own home. Buy yours at MONTARA where enough are already interested to insure its success and buy at once before prices are raised. Ocean Shore trains leave Twelfth and Mission streets at 8:30. Sunday  morning.
The Montara Company guarantees to grade the streets, put down cement sidewalks, water mains and main sewer, within a certain specified time at its own expense, and will  furnish modern local transportation,  and all the necessary improvements of a modern city. We will. loan money to these  who desire to build. Go to this beautiful suburb next Sunday on the first.traln. Fare, $1 for the round trip, which includes the drive around the tract and dinner at Hotel Montara. (Phone: Market-1180.)
We will furnish the land and build a 5 room and bath Cottage for $1,500 on a 25 per cent payment, balance to be paid like rent.
I’ve also attached a newspaper photograph from the May 16th, 1908 issue of the “Call,” that has pretty much the same text as the ad above, except for this interesting coupon, that would almost be laughable in today’s sophisticated advertising world.
Montara Realty Development Co. 201 Van Ness Ave.
Gentlemen—I am just an ordinary individual, trying to earn as much as I can and anxious to make a few honest dollars on the side through safe investment of a small amount in Real Estate—without binding or obligating myself in any way. I wish you would send me tickets to MONTARA. I’ll go down on the 8:30 A.M. Ocean Shore train from 12th and Mission streets.
Still a round trip and a meal for a buck sounds like a good deal. I just wonder what ever happened to the reservoir? For that matter is there still an Arts and Crafts college? Enjoy. JohnOn 190